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2 dogs confirmed to have mystery illness in Arizona | 12news.com – 12news.com KPNX

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PHOENIX — The Arizona Humane Society is providing information about a mysterious dog illness spreading among canines in multiple states.
Dr. Melissa Thompson, the vice president of animal welfare and medical services with AHS, said the state veterinarian confirmed two cases in Arizona but both of the dogs had recently been in Oregon, an area seeing the worst of the outbreak.
“It’s something that they haven’t found before,” Thompson said. “So it is new.”
The mystery respiratory illness is spreading through close contact with other dogs and Thompson said the most at-risk groups are puppies, senior dogs and dogs already struggling with health issues.
RELATED: Dogs are coming down with an unusual respiratory illness in several US states
“Besides vaccines and overall health, we probably want to limit their exposure to other dogs that we don’t know,” Thompson said. “We still want to be going out for walks, maybe not meeting all the dogs on our walks.”
Thompson said there are several symptoms dog owners can look out for. The concern is the illness turning into pneumonia.
“With this illness, they display a lot of the same clinical signs that we would see with our what we call kennel cough issues,” Thompson said. “So they might be coughing, they might have some runny nose, some runny eyes. In the severe cases, though, what we’re seeing, which seems a little bit different with this new disease, is that they tend to be a lot more lethargic.”
Thompson said there is no need to panic. Instead, be proactive and ensure your dogs are vaccinated, though there is currently not a vaccine for this new illness. 
“If you have a pet that falls into those risk categories that we talked about earlier, maybe you want to have even an additional second thought about whether or not you want to board them,” Thompson said.
Experts are currently working to determine the specific cause of the illness but until then, if your dog starts showing signs like excessive coughing or lethargy, contact your veterinarian. 

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